Friday, 25 March 2011

Croatia Bosnia and Herzegovina



6:30 AM arrive to a familiar ferry port in Split Croatia..  back to familiar faces.. First to Anton and Marija's whom I stayed with in rainy November, for an early morning visit. And young Paulina who reads my passport to me in ... Croatian! (Little translator in the making..)

Then on to familiar faces #2, which is Rakela and his gang at BMW Club Split.. which included another wonderful home cooked club meal, lots of friends and a night for me in the gym!  I loved it..


Miro in the club kitchen.. This is all very technical work making a meal in the BMW service coat!

5 star service by Rakela in the BMW dream coat!

Ever heard that term "too many cooks in the kitchen"?















Very happy cooks, Miro and Josip.

All the guys had me laughing so much, and we had a super meal.. as well as a ride into old town Split for a bit of more fun..


Into a fairly dodgey looking bar, but they are usually the best, and this one is no different.. ;-)



One of the guys in the pub owns an antique shop nearby which he opened up to show us some really interesting things.. I love antique shops, but walking around old town Split is like wandering through one big antique.. ha!  He did have some amazing pieces, as you might expect in such a region..




Was a great night out, and Protector Rakela never fails to entertain and bring the people together.. thanks again my friend!!  I do hope to return the favor someday!

Tomorrow I ride to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the some of the boys decide to escort me there! Plus it was Sunday and it's spring, so I am happy they use me for an excuse for the day excursion.


The only trick today is to deal with the famous "burra".. the crazy adriatic gale force winds.  In this picture above, I try to show how fierce the flags are blowing and if you look far into that line of white cloud barrowing over the mountains, I hope it gives a feel to how strong the wind is.  When I looked at the wind report this day, it was 30 - 36 kts with gusts into the 50s..  yuk.  I was a "weiny", but I did it!  Plus the guys knew the backroads of Croatia that were full with trees, which helped tremendously.. thank goodness!!  And great scenery as well!

Ivana, Ivan (engaged.. I wonder what their kids names will be..), Stipe, Rakela and Josip



As usual with my life, always a surprise.. we go through the Croatia border check point and then we pull up to a house.. it's Ivan's parents home, and they fed us the most wonderful lunch!  Interestingly, we have not yet crossed into Bosnia i Herzegovina.. the house is right in between!


The official border is this property line of the grandfathers' house and with Bosnia to the left, they are technically Croatians. But if I understood them correctly, they got to choose!

Bosnia border check point from the yard

Now into the house for the best and tastiest lunch.. so good to have home cooked meals on the road, I can tell ya!  



Now they decide to have me try their homemade alcohol.. did I need to mention I am riding a motorcycle today??  (I promise I didn't drink much, only tasted..but it did help with my confidence in the wind...)

Oops, this one a bit strong!


I think it's so good to see and learn about their culture. I have tasted some really interesting things in this country, and I love how they eat such pure wholesome food, including the drinks!

This is Rogac, it looks to me like made from a seed I see hanging from a tree in the fall? 

Still plenty to see, so a big thank you to Ivan and his lovely parents.. they tell me if I come back in 100 years, they will still be in that house.. aww!




These guys know their way around, and I love seeing this part of the world..  next stop Medjugorje in Bosnia i Herzegovina... as my planned stop and visit.  Ivan wants me to make double clear that this area is Herzegovina, not Bosnia.  Confusing to me, but Herzegovina is not an officially recognized state/government, but explains the area and region we are in.

Medjugorje is famous for the apparition of Mother Mary to a group of young children in 1981.  Many pilgrims flood the town now each year, and seems that the touristy shops are having a time with it!

But it's always nice to be welcomed properly into town.. ;-)

No worries, everybody's happy.. Rakela is going to USA in May to experience a bit of culture himself!  Will be great to hear what he thinks about American culture. As you know from my previous posts, Croatia is full of amazingly hospitable and fun people, and I hope he finds the same on his journey.. I love these guys and thank you for the great ride, food and fun!  

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4 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I think "dodgey" is a bit of an understatement when describing the exterior of that pub! What a great group of guys you managed to align yourself with. And how very cool to spend time in peoples' homes instead of hotels. I'm really enjoying this trip of yours. I only joined you recently while you were vacationing in Tuscany. It's great fun having you back on the road. Does Rakela have a destination? If in the MD/DC/WV area, I may be able to help on that hospitality front.

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  2. It's great to see you on the road again having fun and visiting bars ;-)
    If Rakela comes through NJ let me know.

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  3. Thank you ToadMama and George.. I will pass on to Rakela. I know he lands in New York around May 15, will head to Indiana (hopefully stay a night with my family) and then to Chicago to begin Route 66. It is really REALLY good to be back on the road again.. perfect!

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  4. I agree with ToadMama -- what a great group of guys they are. It's so nice to be able to put a much different face on that area of the world than what we see in the news. I used to think I'd never want to go to that part of the world, and now I'm very interested. Thanks for taking us along with you!

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